I recently watched (and very much enjoyed) the movie Taken. In Taken, two teenage girls are kidnapped in Paris. The rest of this thriller is a frantic hunt through the underbelly of the city. Definitely not a great advertisement for the City Of Lights.

Then I started thinking about Invisible, my latest contemporary treasure hunt novel, and I got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have organized crime in Las Vegas and (wincing) basic lawlessness in the wilds of Belize.

It is ironic as I truly love both places. Even though I’m not a gambler (other than in business), I travel to Las Vegas at least once a year. I’d go there every month if my schedule allowed (it is a five hour flight). Belize is one of the most wonderful countries on the face of the planet. It is a tropical paradise filled with friendly, helpful people.

My familiarity and passion for both locals is why I partially set my novel there. It is easy for me to describe a place I love and visit often. I know the smell (every city has its own smell). I know the sights (not simply the touristy places). I have my own photos to source from, to jog my memory.

However, bad things happen in my novels. Very bad things. These bad things could happen anywhere. I lived once in a sleepy little town of 3,000 people and we had organized crime. Go out in the country anywhere and you’ll find residents living by their own rules (my niece is 8 and has driven a car).

But because Invisible is set in specific cities, I worry that these crimes will be associated with those places. Although Las Vegas really does have ties to the mob, most of the residents are law-abiding folks. Belize has had its issues (no country is crime-free) but a holiday there is as safe as anywhere.

What do you think? Does a fictional crime influence your perception of the city or country?


Kimber Chin writes sexy contemporary romances set all over the world. She loves to travel (with her hubby). She also loves the look of a man in a great fitting suit. She combines these two loves with a weekly photo of a man (usually international) in a suit on her site http://businessromance.com/. She is also an avid romance reader and gives away her favorite romance eRead every month.


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